What Does Misuse of a Credit Card Mean in the State of Ohio?

by Roger Thorne J.D.; Updated September 26, 2017
Misuse of credit cards is a different crime than card theft.

In Ohio, the crime of misuse of credit cards encompasses a variety of actions, many of which are generally known as credit card fraud. Misuse of credit cards is a serious crime, and anyone convicted faces the potential of jail time and fines. Talk to an Ohio criminal defense attorney if you need legal advice about alleged credit card misuse or other criminal matters.

Definition

Ohio Revised Code section 2913.21 defines what actions constitute the crime of misuse of credit card. The statute states that any person in Ohio who uses deception to obtain a card, buys or sells someone else's card, obtains control over a card as a security with purpose to defraud, obtains services with a revoked card, uses the card in violation of the law, lies to a card company about services or goods provided or who possesses a card with the intent to misuse it commits the crime of misuse of a credit card.

Severity

Misuse of credit cards in Ohio is generally charged as a misdemeanor, though it can also be a felony in some situations. Ohio Revised Code section 2913.21(3) states that the crime is a misdemeanor of the first degree unless the value of the property used by misuse over a 90-day period is $500 or more, which then elevates the crime to a felony. It is also a felony if the victim is 65 or older or a disabled person and the alleged criminal used the card to fraudulently obtain security over a debt or obtain services using a revoked card.

Punishments

A first degree misdemeanor in Ohio is punishable by up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Misuse of credit cards can be charged as anything from a fifth degree felony to a second degree felony depending on the value of the property fraudulently acquired. Fifth degree felonies are punishable by between six and 12 months in prison, and up to $2,500 in fines, while a second degree felony is punishable by up to eight years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Theft

Misuse of credit cards is a separate crime than theft of credit cards in Ohio. Ohio Revised Code section 2913.71 states that any theft of a credit card is a fifth degree felony. If a person goes on to misuse a credit card after the theft, this is a separate crime.

About the Author

Roger Thorne is an attorney who began freelance writing in 2003. He has written for publications ranging from "MotorHome" magazine to "Cruising World." Thorne specializes in writing for law firms, Web sites, and professionals. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.

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